Commuters face tough time as KSRTC buses were off the road
MYSORE: The “Bharat Bandh” call to protest against the Jammu and Kashmir Government’s decision to revoke the land allotted to Amarnath shrine trust was total here on Thursday.
The bandh, called by Vishwa Hindu Parishad, was supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and local elected representatives, including MLA H.S. Shankarlinge Gowda, were seen enforcing the bandh in parts of the city.
Public transport system was crippled till 5 p.m. and commuters, especially those coming from mofussil areas, were stranded and had a tough time to return to their destinations. It may be recalled that the State Government had stated that it would distance itself from the bandh and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) would operate its services as usual.
Though the KSRTC made attempts to operate a few of its services, those supporting the bandh stopped the vehicles, deflated the tyres and ensured that the buses were off the road around 9 a.m. However, there was no restriction on the movement of autorickshaws, which had a field day charging above the stipulated rates citing the “risk involved in driving during a bandh”. There were two incidents of stone throwing at a KSRTC bus.
Life was paralysed and major commercial establishments in the city on K.R. Circle, D. Devaraja Urs Road, Sayyaji Rao Road, Ashoka Road, Dhanavantri Road, Yadavgiri, Gokulam, Santhepe, Chamaraja Double Road, and Vani Vilas Double Road downed shutters for the greater part of the day.
Petrol outlets too remained closed. Schools and colleges in the heart of the city and in a few residential areas were closed for the day. A few schools did function in the early hours of the day, but the activists supporting the bandh forced the managements to declared a holiday. The supplementary examination for second pre-university students was not disturbed.
Hotels and restaurants remained closed till 5 p.m. because of which tourists had to face a tough time. in discomfiture, especially those who arrived in the city by train and bus this morning. Cinemas suspended screening of films, but for the late evening shows commencing at 4.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.
A group of activists held up a few Bangalore-bound trains at the city railway station. They allowed resumption of services after a short delay. Inter-State transport was also affected for some time and Bangalore-bound services which were suspended early in the day, resumed by 11 a.m. though only a few skeletal services were run. Normality was restored only in the evening. VHP activists, who tried to disrupt inter-State bus services, were rounded up by the police and among those held included BJP city unit president B.P. Manjunath. Work in government offices was affected. Banking services too were affected. While the bandh was total in the heart of the city, business in residential areas, including Kuvempunagar, Sarasawathipuram, Gokulam, Vijayanagar, J.P.Nagar, K.G. Koppal and Jayanagar, was affected.
Though courts functioned as usual, members of the Mysore Bar Association resolved to support the bandh and abstained from work.